The Source Magazine was invited to the New York Press day for comedian Will Ferrell’s latest endeavor ‘Casa De Mi Padre.’ The film is Ferrell’s Spanish language debut. This is probably the first time that a major American star has tackled a film entirely in Spanish in this way. The film blends the Spagetti Western genre with Telenovela (the Spanish equivalent of a soap opera). It also has elements of Scarface with a hilarious Mexican drug war subplot. Will Ferrell plays Armando, a hopeless optimist who has good intentions and works hard, but is a disappointment to his father, played by iconic Mexican Actor Pedro Armendáriz Jr. He works on his father’s ranch, but Onza a drug lord played by Gael Garcia Bernal is murdering people on the property. Diego Luna plays Armondo’s brother Raul, who returns home to announce his marriage to Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) and return order to their father’s estate. But it turns out that Raul is also a drug dealer and it becomes a territory war between Onza and Raul and a love triangle between Armondo and Raul over Sonia.
If you liked Napoleon Dynamite, you will appreciate this film. (Efren Ramirez happens to have a supporting role in ‘Casa’). It is so stupid that it’s funny (in a good way). Will Ferrell came up with the concept for the film and he enlisted his SNL buddies, Writer Andrew Steele and Director Matt Piedmont, who both served as writers on the show.
“I wrote it to the specification that he was going to do it in Spanish…He said he wanted to do a movie in Spanish and then he just let me go. He said go write something. We both knew that we wanted to do a soap-opera-ish thing, but we didn’t think that an actual parody of a soap opera would sustain itself, so I sat around thinking of something a little more cinematic and fun and then bringing Matt on board who is a cinema geek, we were able to concoct something we hope was a little more than a parody,” writer Andrew Steele said.
“I created the project. It was my plan all along to speak Spanish and that was the genesis of the idea, was to put myself in a Spanish speaking comedy, which I thought had never been done and…to also commit to speaking as well as I possibly could would be something unique, as opposed to speaking Spanish poorly…but that was the intent all along and I had to work really hard with the translator kind of every day and I wasn’t that much fun on the set because I was just always with my lines…going over and over again,” Will Ferrell told reporters during round table interviews.
Gael Garcia Bernal doesn’t want anyone to put ‘Casa De Mi Padre’ in a category. “A film is a film…if it’s good, it doesn’t matter how much money or how little money it was done with, or the language it [was in]…I try to liberate from those sometimes prejudices and working with Will is no different than working with any other great professional actor from anywhere in the world, in whatever language, he’s a great fantastic, intelligent person.”
Casa De Me Padre is now playing!
Photo Credit: John Estes
Latin Recap was also present during our group round table interviews with the cast. Check out their video from the event: